Carmel. 

I feel my posts are a little more “real” when I have a glass of wine, couple bottles of beer, or a Manhattan before typing something up. As I write this, the choice is a glass (okay, two) of wine after a bath with lavender and tea tree essential oils. The bath lately has been less about sore muscles and more about relaxation and stress relief. 

I don’t know why I’m nervous to publicly post this… post. (The two semesters of being an English major in college are totally cringing at this, my goodness.) Okay, it’s a lie, I do know why I’m nervous but I also think I’m being totally ridiculous for feeling this way. 

So, let me just come out and say it – I’m dropping from the Carmel marathon to the Carmel half marathon. 

Ugh. 

I feel like I quit, I failed, I gave up, and the most important feeling to me, like I’m letting down a lot of people. I have many friends who love the marathon, like, really, really love.  And truthfully, I feel like I’m letting down those people because I’m dropping the ball here, just a couple months short of my goal race. 

This decision hasn’t come lightly. The thought first crept into my mind after I had to take some time off because of Cranky Groin. It wasn’t a lot of time but I missed 3 stress workouts in that span and it kept me from increasing to the mileage I wanted. I pushed it out of my head when I compared my mileage and training to that of Chicago. I was a week or two ahead of what I was running in preparation for Chicago and I finished Chicago, so I’d be fine for Carmel. 

I had a decent 16 miler during Lake Effect Half Marathon as well. During the workout I kept thinking how much better this was than anything I did during Chicago. I’ve had struggles but what marathon cycle doesn’t? My knee bothered me but that kind of shit happens. Twinges come up, marathon training isn’t perfect, you adapt and move on. 

But then I really thought about what I’ve been doing. My plan has me well above 30 miles per week and I’m hovering at 30 per week.  This is better than Chicago where I peaked at 31 and then had ankle issues and my taper was like 10 miles over three weeks – no joke. But, ultimately I’m not doing my plan justice. Could I finish Carmel? Absolutely! Could I finish faster than 4:20:05? Pretty certain. Is/was my goal to “just finish”? That’s a hard NOPE. 

Besides that, truthfully I haven’t enjoyed marathon training. I didn’t love it when I trained for Chicago either but I figured it’s because it was hard. It was also summer and I was trying to balance coming back from my nasty bout of tendinitis, vacations, and running. I didn’t love running forever on weekends, but I enjoyed hitting new distances and knowing one of my best friends would be running by my side. This time around, things felt less hard and mentally, I’ve been much better prepared but… I still don’t love it. I have plenty of friends who love the long run and especially love ultramarathons. The thought of that makes me cringe. 

Some people love running slow and forever, but hate faster efforts. Some people love both types of runs. Then there’s me – I would rather run a hard, fast, gut-wrenching half marathon or 5k that burns my lungs to the core than be out there running a conversational pace for 3 hours (or more).  

I don’t know if, or when, I’ll tackle a second marathon. I thought a half marathon was my one time bucket list item, but maybe it’s a marathon after all. I’m finally starting to feel “okay” that I’m not in love with 26.2. Sometimes I get caught up in what everyone else in this world is doing. So many are drawn to the BQ, or running sub 3 or sub 4, or whatever the goal is. It’s everywhere. But I realized that desire is not mine and that’s okay.

So what are my goals? I’m still going after that sub 1:40 half marathon. I’ve taken a handful of days of this past week because of my knee, but also, work has been super stressful and instead of wanting to run to feel better, I need to lay down with some Candy Crush and Investigation Discovery. I have some work to do because marathon pace has been my jam the past two months and speed has been on the back burner. I’m going to run Carmel as a hard workout, maybe even race it to get an idea of fitness. Then I’m going to run Buffalo Half as my goal. It holds my PR and I’m ready to see what I can do. I may be way off sub 1:40, but I’m excited to see what comes of the next 12 weeks.

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Published by

Brittany

Just a 20-something homegrown Buffalo sports loving, distance running, gin drinking kind of girl.

11 thoughts on “Carmel. ”

  1. Why Ugh?

    Marathon running isn’t your thing. You don’t enjoy weekly 3-4 hour long runs.

    Join the club.

    I finally figured out that I don’t enjoy marathons either…it just took me SIXTEEN of them you figure that out. You would think that, after a dozen or so, I would have pieced that together. Nope! Race after race, I would stand in the start coral with a sense of dread. I just never wanted to be there.

    There is a perception in running (from both runners and non-runners) that to be a runner means that you are a marathon runner. Marathons seems to always be the premiere event on a running calendar. Some people love them. Some try to love them. Some pretend to love the. And most hate them…

    I peaked at your PR’s. They are similar to mine (but you are faster across the board). My running pace for the 5k-HM is consistent. Then there is a huge drop off for the full. I have been able to push myself hard through many halfs. I have ALWAYS hit the wall and done the death march at the full. Doesn’t matter what my training was like. Doesn’t matter how conservative my pace at race start, I crash and burn around mile 18.

    If you have figured out what type of training and racing you enjoy and that you are strongest at (sorry for offending your English major background with that sentence structure but it’s 5am and I am on my first cup of coffee) then that is awesome! There is no need to apologize to anyone for following your strength and passion.

    …and, you are still a Marathon finisher…and always will be.

    Now, go get your sub 1:40…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for this! It makes me feel better knowing there’s other people out there like me! Social media makes it easy to seem like everyone loves the marathon. And LOL no offenses to my English major background — there’s a reason I switched back to music 🙂 But you’re right, we both are marathon finishers still. Nothing wrong with preferring short & faster.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I know this was such a hard decision but you are truly making the right one. If you don’t enjoy marathon training, there isn’t a point to do it. There are many other marathons (if you ever want too) but there are so many other racing distances. I’m proud of you and you are going to rock the half!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to work to get faster but anymore I’m a run slow and forever type. Yeah, I still worry about speed sometimes. I think that’s human nature. My point is, we change. As long as you accept the change then all is good. Sound like things are good for you. 🙂

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  4. good for you for following your interest. Earlier this year I thought I wanted to try to cut down my 5k time. Turns out – I hated that idea. running fast & hard. not my jam. long and slow, please & thank you. all of this is meant to be fun, so enjoy!

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  5. I think it’s good you’re not counting out the long stuff altogether. You may just need a rest (from the long run training). I remember after my 3rd marathon and 4th attempt (I DNF’d a marathon) at trying to get a sub 4:30 (and marathon PR) I was forced to take a 6 week break from running because of stress fractures. It was the best thing that could’ve happened. I didn’t run AT ALL the entire time and it really just reinvigorated my love for running–because up until then, it had been all about the numbers and paces. When I came back, I came back better than ever. And liking training.

    Anyway, I’m glad you shared your decision. I think because of it, you’ll kill that 1:40 goal! Looking forward to following!!!!

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